Front-Line Registered Nurses Say Patients Will Encounter Sinkholes on the Road to Health Reform

Hospital funding will take millions more hours of RN care from patients

TORONTO, May 2, 2013 /CNW/ - "The cuts being made to hospitals in the government's road to health care reform will leave sinkholes that will hurt patients," says Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, President of the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA).

Haslam-Stroud says the funding freeze for hospitals will see a continuation of the gutting of front-line RN care.

"ONA and its members call on the government to fully fund key services that patients must be able to access from our public hospitals," she said. "Nurses will take no part in intentional cuts that will damage our patients' health."

Front-line registered nurses are deeply concerned that this budget has what the Health Minister told the media are 'intentional' cuts. These cuts, says Haslam-Stroud, "hurt patients."

"Our hospital sector needs stability," says ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "The cuts will leave our patients searching for any hospital-based acute nursing care they may require that simply can't be found in the community."

She notes that Ontario has already been through "several years of what amount to budget cuts which have resulted in the loss of hundreds of registered nursing positions. For the sake of patient safety, this has got to stop."

Haslam-Stroud points to repeated scientific studies showing the correlation between too few RNs caring for too many patients and a seven-per-cent increased risk of those patients suffering from complications and/or death.

She also expresses concern that Ontario is continuing to move away from a fully public health care system by increasing tax dollars that go to for-profit providers in the community, and leaving patients with nowhere to turn when they require the kind of care only hospitals can provide.

While the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) is pleased with the increased funding for community and home care, the new funding is coming at the cost of hospital programs, beds and registered nursing care.

ONA is the union representing 60,000 front-line registered nurses and allied health professionals as well as more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in Ontario hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, industry and clinics.

SOURCE: Ontario Nurses' Association

For further information:

Ontario Nurses' Association

Sheree Bond    (416) 964-8833, ext. 2430; cell: (416) 986-8240;
Melanie Levenson   (416) 964-8833, ext. 2369;

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